Last weekend, the HWS chapter of Model African Union hosted the fourth annual New York 6 Regional Model African Union Conference on campus, with HWS members serving as delegates representing Ethiopia, Egypt and Angola.
As members of the group since their first year, Pamela Icyeza’ 19 and Donovan Hayden ’19 were excited to manage the event. “I am very proud to bring this opportunity to campus,” says Icyeza, who believes Model African Union “encapsulates the essence of a liberal arts education.”
Throughout the weekend, students discussed the topic of women’s rights on the Committee on Social Matters and sustainable environmental development through the Committee on Economic Matters.
The goal of Model African Union is to simulate a meeting of the African Union by role-playing the responsibilities and interests of nation delegates. The forum allows students an opportunity to improve their leadership and public speaking skills, respectfully engage with diversity factors, challenge viewpoints and learn more about the intricacies of diplomacy.
Fifteen students from Hamilton and Colgate participated in the conference. Icyeza believes that throughout the weekend the HWS club members built comradery with students from other institutions before the national conference which will be held in Washington, D.C. in February.
Many of the participants were novices who expanded their scope of knowledge on the African continent beyond the classroom. “I am looking forward to using the material I’m learning in my ‘African Politics’ class at the conference,” said Chloe Brown ’21 before the event. “Applying my knowledge to represent Angola has already given me a better understanding of what I have been learning in class.”
In addition to students participating as delegates, many members facilitated sessions as officers throughout the conference, including: Donovan Hayden ’19, Israel Oyedapo ’20, Colby Fenn ’20, Yalemwork Teferra ’21, Ethan Brown ’20, Gemma Caglioti ’19, Dylan Morris ’19, Willa Dow ’21 and Edgar Miranda ’20.